Two longshots appear to have entered the Cal coaching search. One that appears to be pretty official is St. Mary’s head coach Randy Benett. The other that is fairly new to the chase is UC Davis coach Jim Les.
other names on cal's short list, per source: steve lavin, nevada's eric musselman, montana hc & former cal asst. travis decuire (2/...)— nate kotisso (@natekotisso) March 19, 2017
as of now, there is no timetable for when cal will decide on a hire.— nate kotisso (@natekotisso) March 19, 2017
source to @rushthecourt: "they're unorganized." (4/4)
These are both longshots (in my opinion), for differing reasons.
Randy Bennett: I know there has been a lot of chatter from the beginning about Bennett. He’s made St. Mary’s a perennial NCAA contender, taking them to the Sweet 16 in 2010 and five other NCAA tournament appearances. They made the Round of 32 this season, bowing out to Arizona. Bennett has proven to be quite effective recruiting-wise with an efficient Australian pipeline of talent. He provides a model of an effective East Bay college coach.
The drawbacks? It’s easier to recruit to St. Mary’s. He’s been there for 16 years. He’s 54 years old. It might be harder for him to transition. And the NCAA violations he suffered could be disqualifying as well: The Gaels were hit with four years of penalties for “failure to monitor” to provide proper compliance, and Cal will avoid coaches with any such stains on their name.
So I’d say this is just wishful thinking.
Jim Les: This is a baffling name. Les did bring UC Davis to the NCAA Tournament this season and has a Big West title to his name in 2015, but he currently holds a losing record as an NCAA coach. Les has an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance at Bradley in 2006. That’s it. There are few other bona fides here besides knowing the UC system. Easily the least impressive name we’ve seen of the bunch.
Names that have already been circulated prominently include...
- Nevada coach Eric Musselman
- Arizona associate coach Joe Pasternack
- Florida State coach Dennis Gates
- Lakers assistant Theo Robertson
- Lakers assistant and former Nuggets coach Brian Shaw
- UC Irvine coach Russell Turner
- Montana coach and former Cal assistant Travis DeCuire
- San Francisco coach Kyle Smith
- Former St. John’s and UCLA coach Steve Lavin
There have not yet been any coaches that we can confirm have officially interviewed for the Cal coaching vacancy.